Sunday, August 21, 2011

Social Statics and Dynamics

The study of social statics and dynamics are the twin pillars of Comte’s study of social stability or the organic phase. The study of social statics and dynamics are not two distinct classes of facts but are two aspects of a theory. These studies are not separate but are complementary to each other as static is the study when society is in equilibrium and dynamics is the study of evolution which is a slow and steady process. This slow and steady process can only occur during the phase in which the society is in equilibrium and not disequilibrium or critical phase. Despite the fact that it seemed desirable for methodological and heuristic purposes to separate the study of statics and dynamics, in empirical reality they were correlative.
Auguste Comte refuses to place individuals as the base of the society. It is erroneous to derive man’s social tendencies out of his utilitarian considerations as it makes the existence of social state impossible. He places family at the base of society and allows resizing it if necessary to a couple. Family curbs the egoistic nature of a person to make him adaptable to the society this makes it the base of a social feeling causing stability. According to his thought of collective organism he places families at the level of an element, classes and caste of a tissue and cities and towns of an organ. Aware of the limitations of such analogy Comte concluded them by stating language, religion and division of labour as the unifying or binding forces of society.
He finds language, religion and division of labour as the three key factors for the stability of the body social. Firstly, language is the “easiest and common way of communication”, making it an essential tool for binding people closely to each other in a community. Language is a common mode of communication between generations. It helps impart the future generations with the knowledge and skills of the older generation, providing it with a base to progress on. Secondly, religion compensates the weaknesses of language by binding the society on the basis of a few common beliefs, acting as a “positive guide”. It ties the society by morality not letting it fall apart because of the disparities among people. Finally, division of labour binds the society together on basis of “similarity of classes” but is feared of distancing men from a larger mass as they are more driven towards their personal interests over the societies. Men in this stage become more conscious of their personal needs and feebly relate them to the needs of society.
Yet he hoped that both temporal and spiritual powers will come together in the future for unifying the society.